TV review: Leverage

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

I'd never watched TNT's "Leverage" before checking out the three upcoming episodes for this review.

I already knew the basic premise: A group of high-tech hackers, thieves and grifters led by Nathan Ford (Timothy Hutton) act like modern-day Robin Hoods by getting revenge for working-class victims and taking down greedy, corrupt baddies.

What I didn't expect is that "Leverage" is quite possibly the worst cable series I've ever had the pleasure of watching. And yes, it was pleasurable - my stomach hurt from laughing so hard. But it's not a comedy.

"Leverage" is filled with feeble acting, bungled writing and laughably dreadful one-liners. It's basically the "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" gang's "Lethal Weapon 5" movie. And it even has a touch of racism.

Sunday's episode is a Christmas special where the team helps a mall Santa who says he's been unjustly fired by the mall owner (guest star Dave Foley). Turns out the mall owner is stealing money and has put criminals in the Santa costumes.

Some cons and hacks go down and there's a twist, but the most wonderfully awful part is when Eliot (Christian Kane), the team's muscle, breaks heads.

While disguised as a Santa, Kane takes bad acting to new levels while dropping lines like "Santa's coming to town" and "You'd better watch out" after beating someone up.

In the following two Eliot-centric episodes, Kane attempts more dramatic material with amusingly poor results. Granted, the writing doesn't give him much to work with - and Eliot uses cardboard boxes as cover during a machine gun shootout.

I don't want to place all the blame on Kane, because he's just the shining lighthouse on the sea of crap that is "Leverage."

If you've never seen this show, give it a shot and revel in its awfulness.


9 p.m. Sundays on TNT

0 stars out of 4

(So-bad-it's-good rating: 4 stars)